The water that has touched death
Installation by Teresa Margolles
For many years Mexico has been famous not only as an exotic destination but also for its drug-related and criminal activities. The impact the violence in this country has on its citizens is substantial. Yet it is a part of their everyday life.
What is it?
Teresa Margolles is a Mexican conceptual artist who explores the social causes and consequences of death. For her, the morgue reflects society, which is why she portrays Mexican urban life through her worldwide exhibitions. Being concerned about the victims of violent crime, drug deaths, and the unidentified bodies brought into forensic medicine institutions every day, Teresa takes action through her art.
In her installation, “En el aire” she illustrates the devastating reality of Mexico, its inexplicable violence, and the tangible reality of a dead body. She transforms the lost lives into water. A beautiful bubble that can be touched and witnessed as a symbolic cleansing of the lost souls.
Her work is situated in a spacious hall. There soap bubbles are beautifully churned into the air creating an innocent, warm, and inviting scenery. Yet, this perception changes intensely once it becomes known that the water comes from the morgue. It has been used to wash bodies before an autopsy and turned into a beautiful scenery.
The contact you have with these bubbles is a contact with all the victims as if we are all witnesses.John Zeppetelli
Why is it cool?
Through death, an object once beautiful and desirable becomes repulsive. Teresa Margolles manages to turn death into a spectacular, immersive experience.
The bubbles serve as reminders of life. Yet once they touch your skin, they burst as a symbol of a life destroyed. They confirm your vitality while reminding you of the devastating issue and all the lives lost due to the Mexican crime rates and violence.
Every bubble that bursts onto your skin is in fact a body.Teresa Margolles
Why it has future growth potencial?
The work of Teresa Margolles is undoubtedly tragic yet remarkably beautiful and captivating. “En el aire” opens the spectators’ eyes to the harsh Mexican reality between crime, violence, and ordinary life.
Mexico is still one of the most dangerous and crime-ridden countries in the world. Its violence has reached unprecedented levels due to the country’s drug cartels and mafia. This is what makes the work of Teresa Margolles so vital. With her spectacular exhibitions all around the world, she sends us a message. She opens our eyes to the harsh Mexican reality and its consequences, as one can experience through her art.
I feel like stepping through her art is a social commitment because you cannot simply walk through a body.Gabrielle Bouchard